"Stare. It is the only way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry,
listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

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Stare No. 801 is devoted entirely to the story of how Stare was and is created.

. . .

All about Stare


Can you remember when art was fun? When you had a lot more freedom and a lot less responsibility? Before you had to get a real job? Back when you thought that art and love were all you needed? Back when art and love were all you needed?

Stare is published on the premise that art still is fun. Yes it's magical, enlightening, mysterious, and (if you hang out with the wrong crowd) awfully damn serious. In every issue of Stare, our editors, publishers and Group of Experts That Dare Not Speak Its Name® bring you the excitement and energy only good art can provide.

Now, you're probably sayin' to yourself, how do they do it? Maybe you figure we ain't got any real jobs an' just live off the behemoth insurance settlement from some big accident that damaged part of our brains and stopped our mental development just at the point when we found out how fun art can be. Or, more likely, you're guessin' we're probably just a bunch of low-life bohemian riffraff gettin' fat off all the burritos and cheap red wine on which we spent damn near our entire Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts grants.

Well, you just might be surprised to learn that neither of those explanations is all that far from the truth. You see, Stare's unique editorial contents are made possible in part through a bizarre government experiment that began in the 1970s ... one that continues to this very day.

It all began when The President's personal photographer (who shall remain anonymous for reasons which will soon become apparent) got bored with his job. He was relating how tedious his ostensibly prestigious position had become at lunch one day to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency's toxic waste disposal division. To make a very very long story very very short, the discussion eventually led the EPA so set up a top secret lab to recycle certain frighteningly toxic wastes from a highly classified military program into a (mostly) harmless (as far as we know) substance called Aesthetigen®.

Here's the secret: Aesthetigen® temporarily suppresses the brain's acquired tendency toward unnatural pretentiousness and acute seriousness. That's why all of us here at Stare magazine always take carefully-controlled doses of Aesthetigen® before we edit and publish each issue. Although the neuro-chemical reaction is quite complicated, the result is easily described in lay terms: Aesthetigen® allows us to present all the really good stuff in art without all the really boring stuff. And especially without all the really dreadful stuff.

So, why doesn't everyone use Aesthetigen®? It's simple: nobody can use it except us.

Ha!

First of all, the researchers who study Aesthetigen® have burrowed so deep into the bowels of the bureaucracy that no one in the government except for the President and his most trusted advisors have even heard about Aesthetigen®. And second of all, Aesthetigen® has a few unfortunate and most embarrassing side effects researchers are trying really hard to eliminate. But until they do, our group is the only group in the whole world that can use Aesthetigen®. (Perhaps Jimmy Carter said it best: Life is unfair.)

And that's the incredible story how Stare came to be. Life, art and burritos are good; pass the wine.

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Stare. (Visual Information Inquiry)
is edited and published by
David Glenn Rinehart, et al.